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KKR & Meer Foundation raise funds for football-training program empowering girls from rural Bengal

The program, run by Shreeja India,  targets first-generation learning (FGL) girls from the impoverished rural areas of Birbhum district in West Bengal.

Kolkata Knight Riders and Meer Foundation, in their pursuit of empowering young girls from West Bengal, have started a transformative football training program tailored for 50 girls from tribal and rural backgrounds in order to foster a vibrant sporting community where these girls can nurture their athletic talents.

KKR and Meer Foundation have teamed up with Shreeja India, a non-governmental organization based in Kolkata, to run the program, which targets first-generation learning (FGL) girls (age group 10–20 years) in Rajnagar Block, Birbhum district in West Bengal. These girls come from families deprived of basic amenities such as education, nutrition, health, and proper livelihood opportunities. Their parents are primarily farm laborers or construction workers.

Through this collaboration, Meer Foundation and KKR aim to unearth hidden talents among young women in the region, providing them with opportunities to pursue a professional career in football.

Venky Mysore, CEO, Knight Riders Group, said: “Within the Knight Riders Group, we've cultivated a dynamic ecosystem, reaching beyond on-field performances to make a meaningful impact off-field as well. KKR along with Meer Foundation and Knight Golf, strives to cultivate the spirit of sportsmanship among the underprivileged in West Bengal. Our collaboration with Shreeja India’s remarkable football-training program has led to empowering young girls from rural Bengal to pursue a career in sports. Through such initiatives and partnerships, we remain steadfast in our commitment to build, nurture, and create opportunities for young talent in the realm of sports."

Over the years, KKR has actively participated in charitable events, demonstrating their commitment to the well-being of the city and its residents. Funds for this particular program were raised via the 6th edition of Knight Golf, an annual charity event organized by Meer Foundation and KKR during IPL 2023. This tradition, embraced by the team, involves key figures from KKR’s owners, management, players, and their supporters. After a three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year's event took place at the esteemed Royal Calcutta Golf Club on April 30, 2023.

Kanchan Yadav, Head - CSR, Meer Foundation, said: “Meer Foundation and KKR came together during this year’s IPL for the Knight Golf Charity Event, where funds raised during the event are used towards social causes in Kolkata. This year, we decided to allocate these funds towards sports development for children who are in need for these resources and different kinds of sports trainings.”

Meer Foundation and KKR have previously backed diverse initiatives, spanning from aiding the recovery of acid attack survivors to organizing tree-planting efforts and managing solid waste at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, during the IPL.